Whether it's a conversation with a friend, a word that is penned, or a craft that is made, everything we do leaves a stitch in the fabric of time. Join us as we investigate the stitches of the past and present...
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ... a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak" (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7).
I got to know Piper Huguley back
in 2012 when we became critique partners, but it wasn’t until the Moonlight and
Magnolias Conference last week that I got the pleasure of meeting this
outstanding writer in person. Here she is at the M&M book signing.
And here we are.
I invited Piper to visit
stitchesthrutime and tell us about her writing journey from concept to best-selling
author to signing a three book contract with Samhain Publishing.
What inspired you to start writing in the sub-genre of Inspirational
African American history?
Well, I’ve been doing market
research for most of my adult life, and I could see that these books were
missing. I read widely in the inspirational historical markets and always knew
that there were other people in other places and times who were Christian, but
I never saw their stories for sale. I kept waiting for someone to provide those
stories. It didn’t occur to me until a few years ago (duh!) that given my
unique background, I might be the one to do it. So I gave it a try!
You have the talent of going into the soul of your characters, making
them relatable, likeable, and memorable. How do you create such deep
Thank you, Elaine! I like to read
a lot about people’s psychology. I think that gives me a jump on things. I like
to go back into their personal history and think about their upbringing,
siblings, parents, what forces shaped them to be where they are when the story
begins. These aspects, the basic Nature vs. Nurture qualities are what can
cause them to fall in love or make them feel inhibited about love, if they have
come from bad experiences. In a romance, they are looking for that other person
to complete what they missed.
You deal with some dark issues in your books, but your writing is
sprinkled with humor. How does humor play into your stories?
A prevailing attitude about
African American history is that it must have been a downer to have been a
Black person. Terrible things happened, but we must remember, African Americans
were survivors. And survivors have to be strong and have a well-balanced
approach in all things. The balance includes the times when people fell in
love, enjoyed one another and laughed with one another. By taking joy in one
another, they survived.
Besides writing, you’re a college professor at Spelman College. How do
you manage two professions and still have time for your family?
Part of the day job has been
building up my historical knowledge as a backdrop to teach the American
Literature of the 19th and 20th century. It’s what I do.
And when I’m not in the classroom, I can write. Over the years, my writing has
been off and on. The most recent off time was while my son was young. I waited
until he was nine to get back to the writing I had started when I was pregnant
with him. When I came back to my writing, I was a different person and couldn’t
write the contemporary stuff I had been working on.
Do you have ideas brewing for another series after the "Home to Milford
College" and "Migrations of the Heart"?
I do. Several. There are several
time periods in African American history where stories have not been told. This
is why I am trying so hard to encourage others to join in. There are a lot of
stories that need to be told.
What do you want readers to take away from your books?
We are all God’s children and are
equally precious in His sight. African Americans lived, loved and survived to
form an integral part of the American story and have lessons to teach and
stories to tell.
Well said, Piper. Here’s the
blurb for Piper’s upcoming release, The Mayor's Mission.
Milford, GA 1868: Milford College
is in trouble.
Mayor Virgil Smithson has been
away to the constitutional convention in the newly established state capitol in
Atlanta for almost five months. He’s late in getting back home. Worried about
her husband, Amanda Smithson manages the crowded and growing school by herself.
She’s hired an old school chum from Oberlin to help her teach the older
students. However, he’s a tad too affectionate with Amanda for Virgil’s liking.
And more problems: The Milford
daughters-in-law arrive in town, determined to wrest what they see as their
rightful inheritance from the Smithsons.
Just when it all seems impossible
to resolve, the Smithsons must endure another crisis that threatens to tear
them—and the dream of their school—apart.
When life becomes difficult, it
will take all of God’s love and mercy for the Smithsons to come together and
fight. It will be the mission of the major and his wife to do what it takes to
nurture the new and coltish educational tradition that they began together. And
to keep their love alive.
Piper G Huguley is the author of
the “Home to Milford College” series which follows the building of a college
from its founding in 1866. The Preacher’s Promise is book one in the series. On
release, the prequel novella to the “Home to Milford College” series, The
Lawyer’s Luck reached #1 on Amazon Bestseller status on the African American
Christian Fiction charts. Huguley is also the author of “Migrations of the
Heart,” a five-book series of inspirational historical romances set in the early
20th century featuring African American characters. Book one in the
series, A Virtuous Ruby won the Golden Rose contest in Historical Romance in
2013 and was a Golden Heart finalist in 2014. Book four in the series, A
Champion’sHeart, was a Golden Heart finalist in 2013. The first three books in
the series will be published in 2015 by Samhain Publishing.
She blogs about the history
behind her novels at http://piperhuguley.com.
She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.
Leave a comment to win an
autographed copy of The Preacher’s Promise by Piper Huguley.
Milford, Ga. 1866: Amanda Stewart
promised her dying father to use her education to uplift their race and teach
newly freed slaves. When she arrives in Milford, Georgia, blacksmith and town
leader, Virgil Smithson, tells her female teachers aren’t welcome there. But
Virgil made his own promise—he told his dying wife that their daughter would
learn to read and write. In Amanda, Virgil meets a woman whose will is as
strong as the iron he fashions. These combatants must put aside their personal
feelings to learn God has His own plan that comes from the promises they made
to their loved ones.